A false flag operation is an act committed with the intent of disguising the actual source of responsibility and pinning blame on another party. The term is popular amongst conspiracy theory promoters in referring to covert operations of various governments and cabals.
The term "false flag" originated in the 16th century as a purely figurative expression to mean "a deliberate misrepresentation of someone's affiliation or motives". [ unreliable source? ] It was later used to describe a ruse in naval warfare whereby a vessel flew the flag of a neutral or enemy country in order to hide its true identity. The tactic was originally used by pirates and privateers to deceive other ships into allowing them to move closer before attacking them. It later was deemed an acceptable practice during naval warfare according to international maritime laws, provided the attacking vessel displayed its true flag once an attack had begun.
The term today extends to include countries that organize attacks on themselves and make the attacks appear to be by enemy nations or terrorists, thus giving the nation that was supposedly attacked a pretext for domestic repression and foreign military aggression.
Similarly deceptive activities carried out during peacetime by individuals or non governmental organizations can (by extension) also be called false flag operations, but the more common legal term is a "frameup", "stitch up", or "setup".
In land warfare, such operations are generally deemed acceptable under certain circumstances, such as to deceive enemies, provided the deception is not perfidious and that all such deceptions are discarded before opening fire upon the enemy. Similarly, in naval warfare such a deception is considered permissible, provided the false flag is lowered and the true flag raised before engaging in battle:auxiliary cruisers operated in such a fashion in both World Wars, as did Q-ships, while merchant vessels were encouraged to use false flags for protection.
Such masquerades promoted confusion not just of the enemy but of historical accounts: In 1914 the Battle of Trindade was fought between the British auxiliary cruiser RMS Carmania and the German auxiliary cruiser SMS Cap Trafalgar, which had been altered to look like Carmania. (Contrary to some accounts, the RMS Carmania had not been altered to resemble the Cap Trafalgar.)
Another notable example was the World War II German commerce raider Kormoran, which surprised and sank the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney in 1941 while disguised as a Dutch merchant ship, causing the greatest recorded loss of life on an Australian warship. While Kormoran was fatally damaged in the engagement and its crew captured, the outcome represented a considerable psychological victory for the Germans.
The British used a Kriegsmarine ensign in the St Nazaire Raid and captured a German code book. The old destroyer Campbeltown, which the British planned to sacrifice in the operation, was provided with cosmetic modifications that involved cutting the ship's funnels and chamfering the edges to resemble a German Type 23 torpedo boat. By this ruse the British were able to get within two miles (3 km) of the harbour before the defences responded, where the explosive-rigged Campbeltown and commandos successfully disabled or destroyed the key dock structures of the port.
In December 1922 – February 1923, Rules concerning the Control of Wireless Telegraphy in Time of War and Air Warfare, drafted by a commission of jurists at the Hague, regulates:
This draft was never adopted as a legally binding treaty, but the ICRC states in its introduction on the draft: "To a great extent, [the draft rules] correspond to the customary rules and general principles underlying treaties on the law of war on land and at sea,"and as such these two non-controversial articles were already part of customary law.
In land warfare, the use of a false flag is similar to that of naval warfare: the trial of Otto Skorzeny, who planned and commanded Operation Greif, by a U.S. military tribunal at the Dachau Trials included a finding that Skorzeny was not guilty of a crime by ordering his men into action in American uniforms. He had relayed to his men the warning of German legal experts: that if they fought in American uniforms, they would be breaking the laws of war; however, they probably were not doing so simply by wearing the American uniforms. During the trial, a number of arguments were advanced to substantiate this position and the German and U.S. military seem to have been in agreement.
In the transcript of the trial, October 1940, under the entry Rules of Land Warfare states: "National flags, insignias and uniforms as a ruse –in practice it has been authorized to make use of these as a ruse. The foregoing rule (Article 23 of the Annex of the IV Hague Convention), does not prohibit such use, but does prohibit their improper use. It is certainly forbidden to make use of them during a combat. Before opening fire upon the enemy, they must be discarded."it is mentioned that Paragraph 43 of the Field Manual published by the War Department, United States Army, on 1
In 1788, the head tailor at the Royal Swedish Opera received an order to sew a number of Russian military uniforms. These were then used by the Swedes to stage an attack on Puumala, a Swedish outpost on the Russo-Swedish border, on 27 June 1788. This caused an outrage in Stockholm and impressed the Riksdag of the Estates, the Swedish national assembly, who until then had refused to agree to an offensive war against Russia. The Puumala incident allowed King Gustav III of Sweden, who lacked the constitutional authority to initiate unprovoked hostilities without the Estates' consent, to launch the Russo-Swedish War (1788–1790).
In September 1931, Japanese officers fabricated a pretext for invading Manchuria by blowing up a section of railway. Though the explosion was too weak to disrupt operations on the rail line, the Japanese nevertheless used this Mukden incident to seize Manchuria and create a puppet government for what they termed the "independent" state of Manchukuo.
The Gleiwitz incident in 1939 involved Reinhard Heydrich fabricating evidence of a Polish attack against Germany to mobilize German public opinion for war and to justify the war with Poland. Alfred Naujocks was a key organiser of the operation under orders from Heydrich. It led to the deaths of Nazi concentration camp victims who were dressed as German soldiers and then shot by the Gestapo to make it seem that they had been shot by Polish soldiers. This, along with other false flag operations in Operation Himmler, would be used to mobilize support from the German population for the start of World War II in Europe.
The operation failed to convince international public opinion of the German claims, and both Britain and France –Poland's allies –declared war two days after Germany invaded Poland.
On 26 November 1939, the Soviet army shelled Mainila, a Russian village near the Finnish border. Soviet authorities blamed Finland for the attack and used the incident as a pretext to invade Finland, starting the Winter War, four days later.
The proposed, but never executed, 1962 Operation Northwoods plot by the U.S. Department of Defense for a war with Cuba involved scenarios such as fabricating the hijacking or shooting down of passenger and military planes, sinking a U.S. ship in the vicinity of Cuba, burning crops, sinking a boat filled with Cuban refugees, attacks by alleged Cuban infiltrators inside the United States, and harassment of U.S. aircraft and shipping and the destruction of aerial drones by aircraft disguised as Cuban MiGs.These actions would be blamed on Cuba, and would be a pretext for an invasion of Cuba and the overthrow of Fidel Castro's communist government. It was authored by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but then rejected by President John F. Kennedy. The surprise discovery of the documents relating to Operation Northwoods was a result of the comprehensive search for records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by the Assassination Records Review Board in the mid-1990s. Information about Operation Northwoods was later publicized by James Bamford.
The Reichstag fire was an arson attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin on 27 February 1933. The fire started in the Session Chamber, [ citation needed ]and, by the time the police and firemen arrived, the main room was engulfed in flames. Police searched the building and found Marinus van der Lubbe, a young Dutch council communist and unemployed bricklayer, who had recently arrived in Germany to carry out political activities.
The fire was used as evidence by the Nazis that the Communists were beginning a plot against the German government. Van der Lubbe and four Communist leaders were subsequently arrested. Adolf Hitler, who was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany four weeks before, on 30 January, urged President Paul von Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree to counter the "ruthless confrontation of the Communist Party of Germany". [ citation needed ]With civil liberties suspended, the government instituted mass arrests of Communists, including all the Communist parliamentary delegates. With their bitter rival Communists gone and their seats empty, the National Socialist German Workers Party went from being a plurality party to the majority; subsequent elections confirmed that position and thus allowed Hitler to consolidate his power.
Historians disagree as to whether Van der Lubbe, as he said, acted alone to protest the condition of the German working class or whether the arson was planned and ordered by the Nazis, then themselves dominant in the government, as a false flag operation.
On 4 April 1953, the CIA was ordered to undermine the government of Iran over a four-month period, as a precursor to overthrowing Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.One tactic used to undermine Mosaddegh was to carry out false flag attacks "on mosques and key public figures", to be blamed on Iranian communists loyal to the government.
The CIA project was code-named TP-Ajax, and the tactic of a "directed campaign of bombings by Iranians posing as members of the Communist party",involved the bombing of "at least one" well known Muslim's house by CIA agents posing as Communists. The CIA determined that the tactic of false flag attacks added to the "positive outcome" of Project TPAJAX.
However, as "the C.I.A. burned nearly all of its files on its role in the 1953 coup in Iran," the true extent of the tactic has been difficult for historians to discern.
In the summer of 1954, a group of Egyptian Jews recruited by Israeli army intelligence were caught with plans to bomb American, British, and Egyptian civil targets in Egypt. The bombings were to be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian Communists, "unspecified malcontents" or "local nationalists" with the aim of creating a climate of sufficient violence and instability to induce the British government to refrain from evacuating its troops occupying Egypt's Suez Canal zone, a move that would embolden Egyptian President Nasser against Israel. But the plot was exposed before launch and Egyptian authorities were able to tail an operative to his target, arrest him and later search his apartment where the entire plan including the names of other agents and explosive materials were held. The expose caused a scandal in Israel with Israeli officials blaming one another for the operation and the Israeli defense minister, Pinhas Lavon resigning under pressure.
Pseudo-operations are those in which forces of one power disguise themselves as enemy forces. For example, a state power may disguise teams of operatives as insurgents and, with the aid of defectors, infiltrate insurgent areas.The aim of such pseudo-operations may be to gather short or long-term intelligence or to engage in active operations, in particular assassinations of important enemies. However, they usually involve both, as the risks of exposure rapidly increase with time and intelligence gathering eventually leads to violent confrontation. Pseudo-operations may be directed by military or police forces, or both. Police forces are usually best suited to intelligence tasks; however, military provide the structure needed to back up such pseudo-ops with military response forces. According to US military expert Lawrence Cline (2005), "the teams typically have been controlled by police services, but this largely was due to the weaknesses in the respective military intelligence systems."
The State Political Directorate (OGPU) of the Soviet Union set up such an operation from 1921 to 1926. During Operation Trust, they used loose networks of White Army supporters and extended them, creating the pseudo-"Monarchist Union of Central Russia" (MUCR) in order to help the OGPU identify real monarchists and anti-Bolsheviks.[ citation needed ]
An example of a successful assassination was United States Marine Sergeant Herman H. Hanneken leading a patrol of his Haitian Gendarmerie disguised as enemy guerrillas in 1919. The patrol successfully passed several enemy checkpoints in order to assassinate the guerilla leader Charlemagne Péralte near Grande-Rivière-du-Nord. Hanneken was awarded the Medal of Honor [ citation needed ]and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant for his deed.
During the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s, captured Mau Mau members who switched sides and specially trained British troops initiated the pseudo-gang concept to successfully counter Mau Mau. In 1960, Frank Kitson, who was later involved in the Northern Irish conflict and is now a retired British general, published Gangs and Counter-gangs, an account of his experiences with the technique in Kenya. Information included how to counter gangs and measures of deception, including the use of defectors, which brought the issue a wider audience.[ citation needed ]
Another example of combined police and military oversight of pseudo-operations include the Selous Scouts in the former country Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), governed by white minority rule until 1980. The Selous Scouts were formed at the beginning of Operation Hurricane, in November 1973, by Major (later Lieutenant Colonel) Ronald Reid-Daly. As with all Special Forces in Rhodesia, by 1977 they were controlled by COMOPS (Commander, Combined Operations) Commander Lieutenant General Peter Walls. The Selous Scouts were originally composed of 120 members, with all officers being white and the highest rank initially available for black soldiers being color sergeant. They succeeded in turning approximately 800 insurgents who were then paid by Special Branch, ultimately reaching the number of 1,500 members. Engaging mainly in long-range reconnaissance and surveillance missions, they increasingly turned to offensive actions, including the attempted assassination of Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army leader Joshua Nkomo in Zambia. This mission was finally aborted by the Selous Scouts, and attempted again, unsuccessfully, by the Rhodesian Special Air Service.
Some offensive operations attracted international condemnation, in particular the Selous Scouts' raid on a Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) camp at Nyadzonya Pungwe, Mozambique in August 1976. ZANLA was then led by Josiah Tongogara. Using Rhodesian trucks and armored cars disguised as Mozambique military vehicles, 84 scouts killed 1,284 people in the camp, registered as a refugee camp by the United Nations (UN). Even according to Reid-Daly, most of those killed were unarmed guerrillas standing in formation for a parade. The camp hospital was also set ablaze by the rounds fired by the Scouts, killing all patients.According to David Martin and Phyllis Johnson, who visited the camp shortly before the raid, it was only a refugee camp that did not host any guerrillas. It was staged for UN approval.
According to a 1978 study by the Directorate of Military Intelligence, 68% of all insurgent deaths inside Rhodesia could be attributed to the Selous Scouts, who were disbanded in 1980.
If the action is a police action, then these tactics would fall within the laws of the state initiating the pseudo, but if such actions are taken in a civil war or during a belligerent military occupation then those who participate in such actions would not be privileged belligerents. The principle of plausible deniability is usually applied for pseudo-teams. (See the above section Laws of war). Some false flag operations have been described by Lawrence E. Cline, a retired US Army intelligence officer, as pseudo-operations, or "the use of organized teams which are disguised as guerrilla groups for long- or short-term penetration of insurgent-controlled areas".[ citation needed ]
"Pseudo-operations should be distinguished," notes Cline, "from the more common police or intelligence infiltration of guerrilla or criminal organizations. In the latter case, infiltration is normally done by individuals. Pseudo teams, on the other hand, are formed as needed from organized units, usually military or paramilitary. The use of pseudo teams has been a hallmark of a number of foreign counterinsurgency campaigns."
Similar false flag tactics were also employed during the Algerian civil war, starting in the middle of 1994. Death squads composed of Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité (DRS) security forces disguised themselves as Islamist terrorists and committed false flag terror attacks. Such groups included the Organisation of Young Free Algerians (OJAL) or the Secret Organisation for the Safeguard of the Algerian Republic (OSSRA)According to Roger Faligot and Pascal Kropp (1999), the OJAL was reminiscent of "the Organization of the French Algerian Resistance (ORAF), a group of counter-terrorists created in December 1956 by the Direction de la surveillance du territoire (Territorial Surveillance Directorate, or DST) whose mission was to carry out terrorist attacks with the aim of quashing any hopes of political compromise".
In espionage, the term "false flag" describes the recruiting of agents by operatives posing as representatives of a cause the prospective agents are sympathetic to, or even the agents' own government. For example, during the Cold War, several female West German civil servants were tricked into stealing classified documents by agents of the East German Stasi intelligence service, pretending to be members of West German peace advocacy groups (the Stasi agents were also described as "Romeos", indicating that they also used their sex appeal to manipulate their targets, making this operation a combination of the false flag and "honey trap" techniques).
The technique can also be used to expose enemy agents in one's own service by having someone approach the suspect and pose as an agent of the enemy. Earl Edwin Pitts, a 13-year veteran of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and an attorney, was caught when he was approached by FBI agents posing as Russian agents in a sting operation.[ citation needed ]
British intelligence officials in World War II allowed double agents to fire-bomb a power station and a food dump in the UK to protect their cover, according to declassified documents. The documents stated the agents took precautions to ensure they did not cause serious damage. One of the documents released also stated: "It should be recognised that friends as well as enemies must be completely deceived."
While false flag operations originate in warfare and government, they also can occur in civilian settings among certain factions, such as businesses, special interest groups, religions, political ideologies and campaigns for office.[ citation needed ]
Political campaigning has a long history of this tactic in various forms, including in person, print media and electronically in recent years. This can involve when supporters of one candidate pose as supporters of another, or act as "straw men" for their preferred candidate to debate against. This can happen with or without the candidate's knowledge. The Canuck letter is an example of one candidate's creating a false document and attributing it as coming from another candidate in order to discredit that candidate.[ citation needed ]
In 2006, individuals practicing false flag behavior were discovered and "outed" in New Hampshireand New Jersey after blog comments claiming to be from supporters of a political candidate were traced to the IP address of paid staffers for that candidate's opponent.
On 19 February 2011, Indiana Deputy Prosecutor Carlos Lam sent a private email to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker suggesting that he run a "'false flag' operation" to counter the protests against Walker's proposed restrictions on public employees' collective bargaining rights:
If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions' cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions ... Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support the media may be creating in favor of the unions.
The press had acquired a court order to access all of Walker's emails and Lam's email was exposed. At first, Lam vehemently denied it, but eventually admitted it and resigned.
Conservative commenter Lou Dobbs suggested that pipe bombs that were sent to prominent Democrats prior to the 2018 mid-term elections were part of a false flag effort to discredit Republicans and supporters of President Trump. This was demonstrated to be wrong when the pipe bombs were traced to a Florida man with strongly declared right-wing affiliation.
On the internet, a concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose actual point of view is opposed to the one that the troll claims to hold. The concern troll posts in web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group's actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed "concerns". The goal is to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt within the group often by appealing to outrage culture.This is a particular case of sockpuppeting and safe-baiting.
Proponents of political or religious ideologies will sometimes use false flag tactics. This can be done to discredit or implicate rival groups, create the appearance of enemies when none exist, or create the illusion of organized and directed persecution. This can be used to gain attention and sympathy from outsiders, in particular the media, or to convince others within the group that their beliefs are under attack and in need of protection.
In retaliation for writing The Scandal of Scientology , some members of the Church of Scientology stole stationery from author Paulette Cooper's home and then used that stationery to forge bomb threats and have them mailed to a Scientology office. The Guardian's Office also had a plan for further operations to discredit Cooper known as Operation Freakout, but several Scientology operatives were arrested in a separate investigation and the plan was exposed.
This section needs additional citations for verification .(March 2021)
Because false flag operations would, by their nature, fail to produce the desired outcome should they be exposed, the perpetrators of such tactics have a vested interest in concealing their actions. As such, conspiracy theories abound with regards to events that have shaped public opinion in a significant way. By claiming an event was orchestrated by an internal actor, these conspiracy theories cast doubt on the legitimacy of actions taken in response to such events. However, when such claims are made, especially without substantial evidence, they can contribute to misinformation about the events in question. The intentional dissemination of this kind of disinformation (not to be confused with misinformation: disinformation is false or misleading claims spread deliberately to deceive the target audience) can be seen in and of itself as an act of information warfare.
For example, some conspiracy theorists in the United States frequently claim attacks such as the Orlando nightclub shooting and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, as well as the attacks of 9/11, are false flag operations staged by conspirators, usually government or corporate forces, in order to achieve some goal such as expansion of government surveillance, disarmament of the population, or military action against blamed nations or groups. Crisis actors are sometimes claimed in this context to play the part of bystanders or witnesses, emergency response personnel, and (with the aid of stage makeup) wounded victims of the attack.
These recent examples exist in the context of a history of conspiracy theories regarding past events, such as the well-known conspiracy theories surrounding the JFK assassination, some of which postulate that the CIA or other government actors orchestrated out the assassination, with a variety of motives having been proposed. Another notable historical example is the case of the USS Maine incident, which led to the outbreak of the Spanish-American war. At the time, American and Spanish sources reported different conclusions for what had caused the incident, the official view in Cuba and Spain being that the sinking was carried out intentionally by American forces as a pretext for war, a view which is reflected on the Monument to the Victims of the USS Maine in Havana.
Espionage or spying is the act of obtaining secret or confidential information from non-disclosed sources or divulging of the same without the permission of the holder of the information. A person who commits espionage is called an espionage agent or spy. Any individual or spy ring, in the service of a government, company or independent operation, can commit espionage. The practice is clandestine, as it is by definition unwelcome. In some circumstances, it may be a legal tool of law enforcement and in others, it may be illegal and punishable by law.
Otto Johann Anton Skorzeny was an Austrian-born German SS-Obersturmbannführer in the Waffen-SS during World War II. During the war, he was involved in several operations, including the removal from power of Hungarian Regent Miklós Horthy and the Gran Sasso raid which rescued Benito Mussolini from captivity. Skorzeny led Operation Greif in which German soldiers infiltrated Allied lines by using their opponents' uniforms, equipment, language and customs. He was charged for that at the Dachau Military Tribunal with breaching the 1907 Hague Convention, but was acquitted after a former British SOE agent F. F. E. Yeo-Thomas testified that he and his operatives had worn German uniforms behind enemy lines.
Psychological warfare (PSYWAR), or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations (PsyOps), have been known by many other names or terms, including Military Information Support Operations (MISO), Psy Ops, political warfare, "Hearts and Minds", and propaganda. The term is used "to denote any action which is practiced mainly by psychological methods with the aim of evoking a planned psychological reaction in other people".
Black propaganda is a form of propaganda intended to create the impression that it was created by those it is supposed to discredit. Black propaganda contrasts with grey propaganda, which does not identify its source, and white propaganda, which does not disguise its origins at all. It is typically used to vilify or embarrass the enemy through misrepresentation.
Operation Northwoods was a proposed false flag operation against the Cuban government that originated within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of the United States government in 1962. The proposals called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or other U.S. government operatives to both stage and actually commit acts of terrorism against American military and civilian targets, blaming them on the Cuban government, and using it to justify a war against Cuba. The possibilities detailed in the document included the possible assassination of Cuban immigrants, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes to be shot down or given the appearance of being shot down, blowing up a U.S. ship, and orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities. The proposals were rejected by President John F. Kennedy.
Frank Anthony Sturgis, born Frank Angelo Fiorini, was one of the five Watergate burglars whose capture led to the end of the presidency of Richard Nixon. He served in several branches of the United States military and in the Cuban Revolution of 1958, and worked as an undercover operative for the Central Intelligence Agency. Sturgis and Miami CIA head David Morales met with E. Howard Hunt shortly before the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
A low-intensity conflict (LIC) is a military conflict, usually localised, between two or more state or non-state groups which is below the intensity of conventional war. It involves the state's use of military forces applied selectively and with restraint to enforce compliance with its policies or objectives.
The Selous Scouts was a special forces regiment of the Rhodesian Army that operated from 1973 until the reconstitution of the country as Zimbabwe in 1980. Named after the British explorer Frederick Selous (1851–1917), its motto was pamwe chete—a Shona phrase meaning "all together", "together only" or "forward together".
Active measures is political warfare conducted by the Soviet or Russian government since the 1920s. It includes offensive programs such as disinformation, propaganda, deception, sabotage, destabilization and espionage. The programs were based on foreign policy priorities of the Soviet Union.
Operation Gladio is the codename for clandestine "stay-behind" operations of armed resistance that were organized by the Western Union (WU), and subsequently by NATO and the CIA, in collaboration with several European intelligence agencies. The operation was designed for a potential Warsaw Pact invasion and conquest of Europe. While an invasion never happened, some of the anti-communist armed groups engaged in the harassment of left-wing parties, terror attacks, massacres and torture in countries such as Italy. Although Gladio specifically refers to the Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind organizations, "Operation Gladio" is used as an informal name for all of them. Stay-behind operations were prepared in many NATO member countries, and some neutral countries.
The Cuban Project, also known as Operation Mongoose, was an extensive campaign of terrorist attacks against civilians, and covert operations, carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency in Cuba. It was officially authorized on November 30, 1961 by President Kennedy. The name Operation Mongoose had been agreed at a prior White House meeting on November 4, 1961. The operation was run out of JM/WAVE, a major secret United States covert operations and intelligence gathering station established a year earlier in Miami, Florida, and led by United States Air Force General Edward Lansdale on the military side and William King Harvey at the CIA and went into effect after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion.
Since the late 1920s, the Soviet Union, through its GRU, OGPU, NKVD, and KGB intelligence agencies, used Russian and foreign-born nationals as well as Communists of American origin to perform espionage activities in the United States. These various espionage networks had contact with various U.S. government agencies, transmitting to Moscow information that would have been deemed confidential.
The Central Intelligence Agency, known informally as "The Agency" and "The Company", is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, officially tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). As a principal member of the United States Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet of the United States.
Russian military deception, sometimes known as maskirovka, is a military doctrine developed from the start of the twentieth century. The doctrine covers a broad range of measures for military deception, from camouflage to denial and deception.
The Air Resupply And Communications Service (ARCS) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. It was assigned to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. Established during the Korean War, the mission of ARCS was providing the Air Force an unconventional warfare capability during the 1950s. It was inactivated in 1954, but elements continued to operate until the reactivation of air commando units by the Kennedy Administration in 1962.
The main strategy and tactics of guerrilla warfare tend to involve the use of a small attacking, mobile force against a large, unwieldy force. The guerrilla force is largely or entirely organized in small units that are dependent on the support of the local population. Tactically, the guerrilla army makes the repetitive attacks far from the opponent's center of gravity with a view to keeping its own casualties to a minimum and imposing a constant debilitating strain on the enemy. This may provoke the enemy into a brutal, excessively destructive response which will both anger their own supporters and increase support for the guerrillas, ultimately compelling the enemy to withdraw. One of the most famous examples of this was during the Irish War of Independence. Michael Collins, leader of the Irish Republican Army, often used this tactic to take out squads of British soldiership. Mainly in Munster, such as Cork.
Political warfare is the use of political means to compel an opponent to do one's will, based on hostile intent. The term political describes the calculated interaction between a government and a target audience, including another state's government, military, and/or general population. Governments use a variety of techniques to coerce certain actions, thereby gaining relative advantage over an opponent. The techniques include propaganda and psychological operations (PsyOps), which service national and military objectives respectively. Propaganda has many aspects and a hostile and coercive political purpose. Psychological operations are for strategic and tactical military objectives and may be intended for hostile military and civilian populations.
The United States has at various times in recent history provided support to terrorist and paramilitary organizations around the world. It has also provided assistance to numerous authoritarian regimes that have used state terrorism as a tool of repression.
The State of Israel has been accused of being a state-sponsor of terrorism, and also committing acts of state terrorism.